We celebrated the formal opening of the new wing of Handford House in great style on Saturday 6 May.
The extension was opened by Zoe Conway (Handford, 1989–1991) who is a BBC reporter on the Today programme. Zoe recalled with fondness the slab of gothic stone (Lancing Chapel) and the intellectual rigour in the school which had defined her life at the College. She talked about her time at Lancing and what it meant to her, in particular the House and the common room – she closed with a quote from John Betjeman who once said that when the end of the world came, he wanted to be in the haberdashery department of Peter Jones, because nothing unpleasant could ever happen there, and Handford evoked the same feelings for Zoe.
This seemed to be a sentiment shared by many in the room. Zoe was joined by fellow OLs, current pupils and parents, Camilla Olah (Basil Handford's daughter) and also former Housemistresses, Vanessa Bentley and Carol Palmer. Girls have been part of Lancing’s pupil body for nearly 50 years and the event was both an inspiration to current pupils and a wonderful celebration of some of the very first young women in the House.
The formal proceedings were concluded with an all embracing blessing of the new wing and dousing by Father Richard. Conversation, laughter and reminiscing continued into early evening and as one OL put it, “Looking around at all those ladies gathered in the swishy new common room on Saturday ... I realised what a fantastic bunch of sassy, kind and intelligent women Lancing had sent out into the world. I feel incredibly proud to be one of them ...”.
To see a collection of photos from the day click here.